The House Veterans Affairs Committee today approved legislation Congressman Jerry Moran introduced in May 2009 to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans. Moran's bill, H.R. 2547, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, will reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) process that arbitrarily strips the Second Amendment rights of veterans and their families who receive assistance managing their financial affairs.
"I introduced this legislation to make sure veterans are not unfairly denied the rights they fought so bravely to defend," Moran said. "It is wrong to take away veterans' gun rights simply because they cannot manage their finances."
Under current VA practice, veterans and other VA beneficiaries who have a fiduciary appointed to act on their behalf are deemed "mentally defective" and are reported to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Although a veteran may be no danger to anyone, being listed in the NICS prevents the veteran from possessing and purchasing firearms.
Moran's legislation would require a judicial authority to determine that a VA beneficiary poses a danger to themselves or others before the VA may send their names to the NICS.
Since 1998, more than 117,000 veterans and members of veterans' families have been reported to the NICS because they have a fiduciary appointed on their behalf.
Congressman John Boozman (AR-03) offered Moran's legislation as an amendment to a veteran benefits measure.
The National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the American Legion, AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart all support Moran's legislation.
Moran is a senior member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.